by Peter Harrison | Jan 21, 2022 | Insights

Think about your favorite athlete.

No matter who comes to mind – the quarterback of your hometown football team or your favorite gold medalist – you can be sure they have one thing in common.

This one thing unites them no matter what sport they play.

You could probably think of a few things – grit, determination, tenacity.

Those are important. But there’s one missing piece. Without it, even the best athletes couldn’t reach their potential. No matter how they trained or played, they would be at a disadvantage.

That one thing is a coach.

Why Every Winning Athlete Has a Coach  (Even Though the Coach Doesn’t Play)

Whether or not you agree he’s the G.O.A.T., LeBron James holds some big records:

  • The NBA record for most points in the playoffs
  • The third all-time result for total points scored
  • The eighth all-time result for career assists

Even his most die-hard fans probably couldn’t name everyone who’s coached LeBron James throughout his career – guys like Frank Vogel, who helped lead the Lakers to the 2020 championship.

But without those guys, LeBron would never have unlocked his true on-court potential. That’s true of any other successful athlete you can name, too.

And it’s true despite the fact that LeBron could run rings around Frank Vogel on the court. Any top athletes in their physical prime are more impressive than their coaches, whose athletic achievements might be 20 or 30 years behind them. So, what’s the point of having a coach?

The coach is the one who sees the big picture.

A coach has been where you are and knows where you’re going. A coach’s job is to see what you’re missing. To constantly identify your blind spots. The mark of a great coach isn’t simply to inspire or motivate you – it’s to show you the best way to improve your performance in the shortest time.

And the same is true of a career coach.

Career Coaching Gets You Where You Want to Be Faster Than If You Go It Alone

Most college seniors have never considered what career coaching can do for them.

In fact, it’s no surprise if you’re actively discouraged from seeking career coaching by your academic advising office. These folks mean well, but in many cases, they’re providing you with job hunting info that’s decades out of date. It’s a case of “good idea, bad execution.”

When you’re about to graduate, you want a good job.

What “good” means depends on you, but your first position has the potential to set the trajectory for your whole career. Settling for less than you want – for less than you’re really capable of – can affect your income for as much as a decade.

Enter career coaching.

You’ve no doubt had a lot of input from a lot of people. One role of your career coach is to give you perspective – to advise you about which things are “rules” and which things are “suggestions.” That way, you cut through the clutter and get to the kind of role you want sooner.

Yes, you could slog your way through years of unpaid internships or underpaid entry-level roles.

But career coaching – just like athletic coaching – equips you to play the game at a higher level.

It gives you a stronger understanding of the court, the tactics available to you, and the long-term strategy that unfolds as you play the game. You’re the one who goes out there and scores the points, but your coach is always on your side.

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